April 15, 2014

Interesting Facts About World War 1

1. More than 9 million soldiers died fighting in the war, approximately 6,000 dead per day.

2. About 65 million men from more than 30 countries fought on all sides.

3. More than 25,000 miles of trenches were dug on the Western Front alone. The whole front was filled with trenches zig-zagging the whole landscape from the English Channel to Switzerland.
In the Trenches
4. The German trenches were better and much more superior to the Allied trenches. They were often built to last, very durable and much more comfortable, some even had doorbells and shuttered windows.

5. At the battle of Mons in 1914, the British infantry fired their single-shot Lee Enfield rifles so efficiently that the German forces thought they were facing machine guns.

6. On Christmas Day 1914 (December 25) there was an unofficial truce that was observed along most of the Western Front. In Belgium, near Ypres, there was even a footbal match between German and British troops and the Germans won 3-2. The very next day they went back to killing themselves.
Ypress Football Match
7. Disease and pestilence (the Spanish Flu) accounted for a third of all deaths during World War I.

8. One of the largest blasts of World War I occured at Messines Ridge in the Belgian West Flanders when British soldiers detonated a million pounds of explosives under the German lines in 1917..

The resulting explosion was so massive that it could be heard in London which was about 220 kilometers away.

9. Millions of horses were used during the war. Dead horses were melted down for fat which was then used for making explosives.

10. The first tanks were used by the British during the war, they were nicknamed "Little Willie". Tanks were split into two types: the ones armed with cannons were called "male tanks" while the ones armed with machine guns were called "female tanks".
British World War 1 Tank
11. Early in the war the only protection against gas attacks was a cloth soaked in a soldier's own urine.

12. In the air war there were aces (or champions) on both sides. Germany's Baron von Richthofer (the Red Baron) shot down 80 Allied aircraft while Rene Fonck from France was the top ace from the Allies shooting down 75 planes.

13. The British made the first tanks and they were initially called "Landships", but in an attempt to disguise them as water storage tanks rather than weapons they were called "Tanks". The name eventually stuck.

14. During World War I there was widespread anger against Germany and all things German in the United States. There were even violent protests against them including the burning of German books, the killing of German Shepherd dogs etc.

15. During World War I pilots had to turn off their planes engines from time to time to prevent it from stalling when the planes turn quickly in the air.

When the planes were restarted in mid-air they sounded like dogs barking. That was where the term "dog fight" originated.

16. The sixth deadliest conflict in world history is World War I.

17. World War I led to the collapse of four empires: the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Gernan and the Russian Empires.

18. Though most of the fighting took place in Europe, World War I was fought on every ocean and almost every continent.

19. On December 24 (Christmas Eve) 1914, soldiers on both sides of the Western Front sang Chrismas Carols to each other. On Christmas day a truce was declared on most of the front and lasted for several days.

The following year sentries on both sides were told to shoot anyone who attempted a repeat performance.

20. World War I transformed the United States into the most powerful military power in the world.

21. As a result of World War I, Britain lost its leadership of the world economy forever.

22. World War I helped to accelerate the emancipation of women in the Western Countries, as women took over many traditional male jobs which had been left vacant by the men going to war.
Women Emancipation
23. One of the most startling consequences of World War I was the emergence of Russia (U.S.S.R) as the first Communist State in the world which ushered in a new era in world history.

Interesting Facts About World War 2

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